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Mariazell Basilica, Mariazell

#5 of 22 in Historic Sites in Styria
Religious Site Tourist Spot
Mariazell Basilica, also known as Basilica Mariä Geburt, is a Marian basilica in Mariazell, Austria. It is the most important pilgrimage destination in Austria and one of the most visited shrines in Europe. In the church, a miraculous wooden image of the Virgin Mary is honored.Early historyThe territory around Mariazell was given to the Monastery of St. Lambrecht around 1103, and the monks built cells there in order to serve the local residents. Legends give the town's founding day as December 21, 1157, but it is first documented in 1243. A Marian altar was dedicated there in 1266.The current church buildingThe Basilica of the Mariä GeburtIn the fourteenth century, a gothic church stood at Mariazell with a 90 m high spire and an ogive portal. In 1420 and 1474, the church was destroyed by fire. The church building was later expanded and redesigned in the Baroque style by Domenico Sciassia from 1644 to 1683. To the left and right of the gothic spire a baroque tower was built, the nave was lengthened and widened, and a dome was added on the eastern side. The high altar, consecrated in 1704, was designed by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach.The twelve side chapels each contain a baroque altar. The plaster stucco work of the organ gallery and the 1737 organ console was created by the Viennese sculptor Johann Wagner in 1740.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
108 reviews
  • The basilica is beautiful and it has a beautiful alter. The organ was playing and it was simply devine  more »
  • Location of the town itself and the establishment of the Centre. You might want to stop and enjoy the colorful buildings in the background is the beautifully restored Cathedral. Many of the streets in the small local store you can buy.
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  • What a beautiful Basilica, this is really worth it to drive, all very serene, brings out the best in people. When leaving the Basilica we were treated to songs of people who were just there, wonderful. the downside of course is that this is also a tourist trap, it is full of souvenierskraampjes, but oh well
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  • Beautiful baroque building, nicely renovated. The interior is richly decorated, especially interesting is the Gnadenkapelle with the Virgin Mary and the Little Jesus, the object of pilgrimage. It has a special atmosphere.
  • Very nice, no entry fee, impressive!
  • Crowded, But a nice Flair
  • Nestled high in the Alpine mountains of Austria, the Shrine of Our Lady of Mariazell is the most-visited Marian shrine in Central Europe, receiving about a million pilgrims each year. The basilica and shrine is located at the center of Mariazell, which is also a popular resort town, and its three west towers can be seen from around the city. The central tower is Gothic and was preserved from the 14th-century church; the two flanking Baroque towers were added in the 17th century. The Gothic portal with carved tympanum has also been preserved. Inside, the miraculous statue is housed in the Lady Chapel or Chapel of Miracles, which stands directly over the place where Magnus established his monastic cell in 1157. The statue is a small (48 cm tall) Romanesque wooden figure of the seated Virgin Mary holding the Christ Child. In the Baby's hands are an apple and a fig, calling to mind the Fall of Adam, but also Christ's redemption of mankind. Both Mary and Jesus are almost entirely covered in rich garments and wear golden, jewel-encrusted crowns. Pilgrims who have received a blessing after praying to Our Lady of Mariazell leave ex-votos (gifts "out of thanks") at the shrine. As a testament to Mariazell's great popularity, the ex-votos represent one of the greatest numbers of nationalities of any Catholic shrine.
  • Wonderful

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